Today's Outfit: Autumnal Spring

Phew! Thanks for bearing with me while I took my break last week. Although the blog hiatus was nice, I didn't get as much done on my secret project as I thought I would because I became sick. Luckily some antibiotics and rest seemed to do the trick.

The weather in Vancouver has been downright autumnal lately--damp, chilly, rainy. I wore this outfit a while ago and considered not posting it: right after I took the photos, the weather became balmier and I thought Vancouver had bid goodbye to perpetual rain for another year. However, with the recent drizzle and cold, I thought it might be worth posting after all as an example of how I dress for spring when it feels more like fall outside.
  • Top (CiCi)
  • Vest (Jacob)
  • Shorts and tights (H&M)
  • Flats (Yosi Samra via Fine Finds)
  • Wishbone earrings (Pretty Pennie)
  • Scarf (vintage)
  • Shoe clips (Aldo)
What do you like to wear when you're thinking spring and Mother Nature is thinking otherwise?

MIA This Week

I'm taking a bit of a blogging break this week for many reasons:
  1. The Victoria Day long weekend was such a relaxing time I don't want it to end.
  2. I'll be working on a secret project.
  3. I'm experiencing a bit of blogger's fatigue. Nothing has caught my fancy or inspired me lately and I don't want to post just for the sake of posting if I don't feel strongly about it.

Posts will resume next week, and hopefully by then I'll have made enough progress on the project to announce it.

See you soon!

Product Review: American Apparel Nail Lacquer

Holy windy Wednesday afternoon! No sooner had I jokingly complained about how good weather distracts me from my work on Twitter than it began to pour and howl outside. But even the sudden wind and rain couldn't bring me down. After all, my evening plans included yoga class and doing my nails. Last weekend I'd bought three new American Apparel nail polishes ($7.50 each or 3 for $18) in Berries, L Esprit, and Peacock and I couldn't wait to try them.

I chose L Esprit for my first AA mani and so far I have only good things to report. The formula is very thick and opaque compared to other polishes like Butter London so one coat was more than enough. However, it does dry quickly to a creamy smooth finish with a bit of shine to it.

Overall, I like how the entire line contains on-trend shades and the polishes are true to colour and not shimmery. (I'm very picky about shimmer these days.) I'm also a fan of the bottle's sleek rectangular shape, which holds as much polish as a round OPI bottle but doesn't take up as much space. Like many higher-end brands, the formula is free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde, but AA's more affordable price point makes it easy to stock up on cool colours. I'm not sure how long this mani will last, but if it's comparable to polishes I've used in the past I may have to return for a few more.

Have you tried AA's nail polish? Do you have any favourite brands or colours you swear by? What do you like doing on a dark and stormy night to relax?

Quoted: June 2010 Issue Of Elle Canada

Great job on your June 2010 issue, Elle Canada! It's been a long time since I've come across an inspirational style quote, but I managed to find four in your latest issue. Thank you for showing that women can live stylishly even if they can't wear sky-high heels or afford all the latest designer fashions.

"Taste comes from culture. If you're curious, you can learn a lot. That's what raises your taste level. It's not about money or owning pieces; it's about appreciation--taking the time to look and learn."
-jewelry designer Hervé Van Der Straeten on the definition of good taste

"The best way to know a woman is to open her luggage. If she knows how to pack well, it means she understands, and cherishes, how to live a simplified life."
-Diane von Furstenburg on suitcases as a reflection of souls

"Choose fashions that make you happy. I hope the clothes I design will become my clients' best friends. That way, when they open their closets, they will always encounter someone special."
-DVF on dressing to please yourself

"It isn't the height of the heel that creates sex appeal or innocence in a woman; it's all about attitude. If you like what you're wearing, you'll project that confidence."
-Christian Louboutin, when asked whether a woman can be sexy in flats

Maybelline EyeStudio Giveaway Winner

First of all, a huge thanks to all the readers who entered my giveaway for Maybelline eye makeup! The winner of the three mascaras and gel eyeliners is Daniela. Congratulations! Please send me an email within the next 72 hours to claim your prize, Daniela.

For those of you who didn't win, don't fret--I'll be hosting other giveaways this summer. In the meantime, can I ask a favour of the readers who enjoyed my Maybelline product review and tutorial post? Matchstick, the marketing company that sent me the makeup kit, has asked me to ask you to fill out a survey. It will only take two minutes of your time, and for every completed survey that Matchstick receives $2 will be donated to Redwood, a shelter for women and families in need. Thank you in advance!

Today's Outfit: JK Models One Year Anniversary Party

Any party is a good excuse for me to break out of my daily denim routine, and when the party is as special as the one-year anniversary of JK Models, it's a brilliant excuse for me to get really dolled up. JK Models welcomes models of different body types and ethnicities and celebrates diversity. Founded by former model Jennifer Koning, the agency has enjoyed a very successful first year providing models for local events, TV segments, fashion shows, and so on. Guests, media, bloggers, and well-wishers all gathered at Leone on Wednesday night for cocktails, appetizers, and conversation. Models from the agency put on two fashion shows showcasing the designer fashions at Leone and its sister store L2, and the event was emceed by hosts from FMA Entertainment Weekly, Kirk Renard and Erin Ireland.
  • Bustier (Malene Grotrian)
  • Skirt (vintage)
  • Bracelet (Forever 21)
  • Heels (Nordstrom Rack)
  • Purse (Chanel)
I didn't get a ton of photos, which is a good thing--it means I was too busy having fun to pause for pictures!

Designer Malene Grotrian was there along with her close friend Jacqueline Ryan. Malene supplied Koning's outfit for the evening, and she's the talented designer of the bustier I own.

Local bloggers Erin, Niki, and Peter along with Jennifer Koning (second from the right)

More social media peeps! From left to right: Kim, me, Kelsey, Liv, and Nicole.

CRAVE Symposium All-Day Think Tank Extravaganza

Calling all female entrepreneurs in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland! CRAVE Vancouver will be hosting an all-day think thank event for business owners of all levels. Here's your chance to meet mentors, network with peers, share stories, and walk out of the symposium a more inspired and enlightened businesswoman. Additionally, CRAVE is holding a contest and choosing 8 lucky business owners from the retail, product, service, and online sectors to be "think-tanked" for the day. This is a unique opportunity, so don't miss out!

When: Monday May 31st, 9am-5pm
Where: Heritage Hall , 3102 Main Street
For more information or to purchase tickets, check out their website.

May issue of Vancouver Fashion eZine is out!

In case you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, the latest issue of VFE is online! This month I got the chance to share my love of Two of Hearts with VFE readers by writing an article about their Boutique. Needless to say, my long collaboration with designers Jenny Yen and Tabitha Savoie made this assignment one which was close to my heart. If you want a glimpse of what's in store right now, click here to read my article.

Can't get enough of Vancouver fashion? You should check out my write-up of the third day of shows at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Eye Makeup 101 Featuring Maybelline Eye Studio

In my last post, I reviewed Maybelline Eye Studio and said that I'd blog some of the looks I put together using the Eye Studio products. I'm by no means a makeup artist, but hey, the products are designed for novices and their tagline is "no makeup artist required," so I suppose I'm their perfect demographic. Enjoy!


Purple eyeshadow has always been one of my favourites because its warm tones flatter golden Asian skin and brown eyes. This look is a slightly more dramatic take on this spring's pastels trend.

Products used: Colour Plush eyeshadow quad in Purple Icon, Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in Blackest Black, XXL Pro 24Hr Bold mascara in Very Black.

How to:
  1. Prep your lids with primer and brush brows into place.
  2. Sweep the white shadow (shade #1) on your browbone.
  3. Sweep shade #2 from your lash line to your crease.
  4. Sweep shade #3 in a crescent motion in your crease. Take a large fluffy eyeshadow brush and blend if necessary.
  5. Take a smaller shadow brush and apply shade #4 along your lash line. Smudge and blend.
  6. Apply gel eyeliner in a thin line along lashes with the gel eyeliner brush.
  7. Curl lashes and apply mascara.


Gold eyeshadow is such a pretty look for bronzed summer complexions. For this look, I roughly followed an eye makeup tutorial in one of my Japanese fashion magazines which was intended for a neutral eyeshadow palette.

Products used: Colour Plush eyeshadow quad in Give Me Gold, XXL Pro 24Hr Bold mascara in Very Black.

How to:
  1. Apply primer all over your lids.
  2. Sweep shade #1 just above your crease.
  3. Sweep shade #2 from the crease down to your lash line.
  4. Smudge shade #3 along the lash line.
  5. Dab shade #1 on the centre of your lid for extra glimmer.
  6. Using an angled liner brush, line your upper lash line and the inner corner of your eye with shade #4.
  7. Starting from the middle of your lower lash line, use an angled liner brush to line your eye with shade #1 all the way to the outer corner.
  8. Curl your lashes and apply mascara.


Disclaimer: I didn't come up with this. I saw it on another blog and can't remember the source, but it's a fun twist on a classic makeup look nonetheless.

Products used: Colour Plush eyeshadow quad in Pink Persuasion, Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in Blackest Black, XXL Pro 24Hr Bold mascara in Very Black.

How to:
  1. Apply primer on your lids, but be sure not to apply too close to the lash line where you'll be applying the liner.
  2. Using a large eyeshadow brush, apply the pink shade from the palette all over your lid.
  3. Draw a thin line along your lashes using the gel eyeliner and the liner brush, and flick the brush at the outer corner of the eye. Trace over the line to build up a thicker line gradually.
  4. Just above the wing, draw another wing and flick it out.
  5. Curl your lashes and apply mascara.
What's your favourite way of doing eye makeup?

P.S. A quick reminder that you should leave a comment on my previous post if you want a chance to win 3 XXL mascaras and 3 gel eyeliners. Good luck!

Product Review: Maybelline Eye Studio Eye Makeup Plus Giveaway!

I like to dabble with eye makeup even if I'm far from being an expert at applying it. Truth be told, I ogle the huge multi-coloured eyeshadow palettes and covet them for their potential for limitless looks, but deep down I know I'd end up using the same five shades repeatedly and barely touch the others. It's this rationale that's kept me from splurging on more eye makeup. So when the folks at marketing company Matchstick contacted me and offered to send me a train case chock full of products from the Maybelline Eye Studio eye makeup line, my curiosity got the better of me and I said yes.

There was so much in the case that I chose one or two of everything to test. My impressions of the line are hit-and-miss:
  • The Eye Studio Colour Plush quad palettes come in 12 different varieties. Each palette is colour-coordinated so that you can wear the shades alone or all together for the ultimate dramatic look. Although I liked the colours, I found the formula very difficult to work with. It was powdery and migrated to different areas of my face instead of staying put on my eye. The shadow is quite sheer, so you have to apply a lot to get the same vivid colour you see in the case. Stick with smaller eyeshadow brushes and definitely use a good primer.
  • The Eye Studio Colour Pearls duo shadows were very bulky to store compared to the quad palettes and they didn't have as many colours in one case. Like the quad palettes, I found the formula too powdery, not pigmented enough, and very difficult to work with.
  • Although the eyeshadows were disappointing, the XXL Pro 24Hr Bold mascara in Very Black was great. One end of the wand lengthened lashes while the other end boosted volume. The formula was pretty smudge-resistant even through a sweaty night of salsa dancing.
  • Likewise, I really liked the Eye Studio Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in Blackest Black. It was my first foray into gel eyeliner and I was impressed with how bold and smudge-resistant the line was, and how easy it was to apply. The eyeliner came with its own brush, which was nice.
In fact, I liked the mascara and eyeliner so much that I'm giving away the ones I didn't use. One lucky reader will receive 3 XXL mascaras and 3 gel eyeliners in brown, charcoal, and purple. This giveaway is open to Canadian and American residents. To enter, simply leave a relevant comment on this post. (If you don't have an online account under which you're commenting, please provide an email address as well.) The giveaway ends Monday May 17th at midnight. Good luck!

P.S. Stay tuned for my next post in which I show you some of the looks I put together with Maybelline Eye Studio!

Today's Outfit: Dress Over Jeans & Other Broken Style Rules

Last week, gorgeous blogger Alixrose tweeted about wearing dresses over jeans and asked followers whether it's a do or a don't. I replied, "Hehe I'm wearing jeans under my shirtdress today! imo it doesn't look ridiculous b/c so many 'dresses' today are short and tunic-like, so you can just wear them as long shirts!" I promised Alixrose I'd post the outfit and give her a shout-out, so here it is.

As you can see, wearing a dress over jeans isn't the only style rule I'm breaking here. There's also pattern-mixing (the striped scarf with the smaller stripe of the shirtdress) and some mixing of metals (gold earrings and bracelet, silver flats). Oh, and the cuffed jeans? It's purely the influence of the Japanese fashion magazines I picked up. All the girls were doing it to show off slender ankles and cute shoes, and the proportions really worked with their petite stature.

Do you enjoy breaking fashion rules or are you a stickler for them? Which ones have you flouted lately?
  • Shirtdress (H&M)
  • Jeans (Banana Republic)
  • Ballet flats (Yosi Samra)
  • Scarf (vintage)
  • Bracelet (Lysh & Lo)
  • Earrings (Swarovski, gift from a friend)

From Solo Lisa's Kitchen: Chicken Corn Chowder

My chicken corn chowder is an adjusted version of this recipe. Instead of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, I used cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper to add spicy flavour. I also added corn starch to thicken the broth. It didn't taste too bad!

The Style Spy & Fine Finds Present A Shopping Party!

Enjoy 15% off everything in store, spin the wheel for the chance to win even deeper discounts (including 50% off shoes--you can stock up on the Yosi Samra flats in every colour!). French macarons, mini makeovers, and a free gift with purchases of over $100 are just some of the other perks you'll enjoy. So RSVP today!

Event: Style Spy Shopping Party at Fine Finds Boutique
When: Thursday May 20, 2010 5pm-8pm
Where: Fine Finds Boutique, 1014 Mainland Street, Vancouver
How much: Free

Lisa's Most Coveted List

Confession: I love the thrill of a good purchase, and lately I've been shopping. A lot. Since I was stumped about what to post today, I thought I'd share my recent finds in an "awesome stuff I've bought and am really, really loving" edition of Lisa's Most Coveted List. Enjoy!

1. Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Ruban Rose. Curse those Vanessa Paradis ads for capturing how feminine, sophisticated, and romantic the act of putting on lipstick can be. They certainly made me want to check out the new Rouge Coco line. Together with gorgeous blogger Carolina, we paid a visit to the Chanel makeup counter and I walked away with Ruban Rose, a light rosy hue with a slight hint of shimmer. The formula is very moisturizing and feels like you're wearing lip balm, and the colour is light enough to be wearable for everyday and ideally suited to summer.

2. Roots mini cargo in Rustler/flex leather ($98 Cdn). I've been in love with the idea of a pale blue crossbody bag since blogging about one I saw at Coach, but I'm glad I waited until now to get one (and it was on sale!). The leather is soft and supple and the most striking shade of robin's egg blue with a light beige strap. It's the perfect size to tote my essentials as I run errands and wander around the city.

3. Lightweight scarves. Silky and lightweight scarves in different patterns complement my spring trench well, plus they keep me warm on blustery days. I found a gorgeous silk floral number by Oscar de la Renta's diffusion line O at Winners; the polka dot and striped ones are from vintage seller Eclectica Vintage, who was at the craft show Make It! Vancouver.

4. Japanese fashion magazines. I love flipping through Asian fashion magazines for inspiration but am often reluctant to pay $10-20 for a glossy I can't read a word of. Sophia Books, a longstanding Vancouver bookstore specializing in multilingual books and magazines, recently announced it was closing its doors and holding a clearance sale. The news is sad indeed for the city's bookworms, but on the upside, I bought a bunch of discounted magazines and am now making my way through them.

5. Jewelry from local independent artisans and crafters. The sterling silver wishbone earrings are by Pretty Pennie, while the gold bead bracelet is by Lysh&Lo.

Your turn! Have you been craving items similar to the ones I purchased? What have you bought lately that gives you a giddy little thrill? Shameless gloating in the comments is highly encouraged.

Yosi Samra Silver Leather Ballet Flats

The Yosi Samra fold-up flats have been catching my eye ever since a huge shipment of them arrived at Fine Finds. Last weekend, I finally bought a pair in silver. They truly are the Holy Grail of ballet flats. The elasticized trim ensures they'll stay on your feet, while the unadorned flats boggle the mind with their potential for customization. Pin some vintage brooches or shoe clips on the toes, or thread grosgrain ribbon through the loop in the back and wind it around your ankles for a ballerina-inspired look. Of course, these flats also look great on their own, especially if you buy them in one of the bright blue, purple, or red suede fabrications.

I also love the portability of them, how they fold up in half and they come with their own silvery satin pouch. Imagine how great they would be for travel, or for those long evenings or special occasions where you're dying to get out of your sky-high heels by the time you leave. Oh, and did I mention that they're very sturdy and well-constructed as far as ballet flats go? At $69 Cdn (or $55 US if you purchase them through the website), Yosi Samra flats are a sound investment.
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